Allen Americans vs. Idaho Steelheads
Date(s) - Wed Mar 07, 2018
6:15 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads open a three-game set at CenturyLink Arena on Wednesday night with a single game against the Allen Americans, the first meeting between the teams since January 6th. The Steelheads have only played eight games on home ice since their last contest against the Americans, and they hope for a warm welcome after splitting a six-road swing through Utah, Rapid City, and Wichita. The Americans have won back-to-back games, both coming against Rapid City.
Idaho dropped the last game of the road trip on Sunday afternoon in Wichita, a 2-1 loss to the Thunder at INTRUST Bank Arena. Eric Sweetman scored the lone goal for the Steelheads 2:20 into the first period, but Nick Riopel would not allow a goal the rest of the way and finished with 32 saves. Ralph Cuddemi and Guillaume Lepine scored for the Thunder, as the Steelheads lost for just the second time in regulation this season when leading after the first period.
With the ECHL trade deadline quickly approaching at 1pm MT on Thursday, the Steelheads made a move on Tuesday to acquire forward Jack Nevins from the Greenville Swamp Rabbits for future considerations. Nevins has eight goals and 20 points this season, along with 137 penalty minutes. The move adds muscle to the Steelheads lineup and also helps fill the void of the many recent AHL call-ups the Steelheads have earned. Henrik Samuelsson, Ryan Faragher, Steve McParland, and Max French have all been playing in the AHL, and they were joined by goaltender Philippe Desrosiers on Wednesday.
Battling for Position…
The Mountain Division playoff race is a complicated one, with the Allen Americans on the outside looking in. Despite their back-to-back wins heading into Boise, those wins snapped a four-game losing streak and gave Allen only three wins in their last ten. The Americans have two Kelly Cups and a second-round playoff exit in their three ECHL seasons, but currently sit sixth in the division and one point behind Utah and Tulsa for the final playoff spot.
Sholl in Goal?…
With Philippe Desrosiers and Ryan Faragher both in the AHL, newly acquired goaltender Tomas Sholl appears set to make his Steelheads debut at home on Wednesday. Sholl joined the team in Wichita after being acquired from the Adirondack Thunder, but did not see game action. Sholl appeared in eight ECHL games with the Thunder, going 5-0-1 with a 2.05 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. All of Sholl’s appearances came in the month of February, his last start a win against the Wheeling Nailers on February 25th.
Goals: Parizek (23)
Assists: J. Dahl (36)
Points: J. Dahl (56)
Plus/Minus: Sweetman (+16)
Power Play Goals: J. Dahl/Parizek (8)
Goals-Against Average: Sholl (2.05)
Goals: Guptill (23)
Assists: Pierro-Zabotel (40)
Points: Pierro-Zabotel (55)
Plus/Minus: Makowski (+23)
Power Play Goals: Chouinard (7)
Goals-Against Average: Brodeur (2.94)
Paterson shuts down Steelheads for shootout win
Play of the gameJefferson Dahl was inches from ending the game in the final few seconds of overtime, only to be denied by defenseman David Makowski. In the final moments, Justin Parizek cut into the Allen zone and dragged the puck across the high slot, bringing defenseman Joel Chouinard with him and pulling goaltender Jake Paterson out of position. Parizek threw a pass back against the grain that hit a skate and came to a stop in the Allen crease in front of the open net. Jefferson Dahl reached out to tap the puck in but Makowski stepped into him and knocked him to the ice, the puck just barely out of his reach as the Americans cleared it away and overtime expired.
Boise, ID (3/4/18)— Jake Paterson made 47 saves in regulation and overtime, and denied three shootout attempts, to back stop the Allen Americans (28-24-6) to a 2-1 shootout win over the Idaho Steelheads (33-19-7) in front of 4,251 fans on Wednesday night at CenturyLink Arena.
Alex Guptill and Casey Pierro-Zabotel each scored in the shootout for Allen, while Justin Parizek’s fifth shootout goal was the only tally for Idaho in the breakaway contest. Parizek’s goal gave Idaho the lead, in the third round, but Guptill kept the shootout alive with a wrist shot under Sholl’s right pad and Pierro-Zabotel netted the shootout winner with a forehand deke.
Thomas Sholl made 23 saves in his Steelheads debut between the pipes, finishing on the losing end of the goaltending duel as the Americans won their third straight game. Sholl made four saves in overtime, all in close. Spencer Asuchak was turned away on multiple breaks to the net, and Pierro-Zabotel was denied on a clear breakaway in the final minutes of overtime.
Jefferson Dahl had two chances to end the game in overtime, first ringing the post on a breakaway and then flailing at a puck in the crease in front of the open net in the final seconds. Allen defenseman David Makowski boxed out Dahl and prevented the game-winning tap-in.
Will Merchant scored the only goal for the Steelheads, netting a power play goal for his 15th of the season at 8:47 of the second period. After several chances in close for Brady Brassart were turned away by Paterson, Brassart stayed in front to screen the goaltender as a wrist shot from the high slot by Merchant sailed over Paterson’s shoulder for a 1-0 Steelhead lead.
Just 22 seconds after the Merchant goal, the Steelheads would head to the penalty kill when Charlie Dodero received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for an illegal check to the head of former Steelhead Tristan King. During that penalty kill, Jefferson Dahl was called for hooking to give the Americans a full two-minute 5-on-3 power play.
The Americans cashed in at 12:51 of the second period on their two-man advantage, with Alex Guptill potting a rebound for his 24th goal of the season to tie the score 1-1.
The Steelheads’ shootout point, coupled with Colorado’s regulation loss on Wednesday night, pulled the Steelheads within seven points of the Mountain Division lead. Idaho fell to 6-3 in the shootout this season.
The Steelheads continue their home stand this weekend with a pair of games against the Kansas City Mavericks. The teams meet on Friday night with puck-drop scheduled for 7:10pm MT. The game is available on 1350AM KTIK and seen on Cable One and ECHLTV.
Goals: Merchant (15)
Tomas Sholl: 23 saves on 24 shots
Power Play: 1-for-7
Penalty Kill: 3-for-4
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Will Merchant IDH
- Tomas Sholl IDH
- Brady Brassart IDH
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Will Merchant: Goal, 5 shots